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Playground Pick’em

Posted By Jason Wagensveld On Jan 28 2011 @ 5:32 pm In Columbus Blue Jackets | 1 Comment

Tonight the Captains of the two All-Star Teams, Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom, will pick their players for their team similar to the way we used to pick them at recess in elementary school.  This has added a new sense of excitement and anticipation surrounding the All-Star Weekend.

The Blue Jackets are represented by none other than Rick Nash.  I think Nash will be picked by Staal early in the draft because of their friendship and familiarity stemming from their time playing together for Team Canada.  Here are some of the main stories and my predictions going into tonight’s All-Star Team Draft:

Who will be picked first?

If Lidstrom has the first pick he will pick Alexander Ovechkin for two reasons.  First, Ovechkin thrives off of entertaining an audience and especially in a situation that encourages offense and creativity.  Secondly, Lidstrom would rather have him on his team than have to defend against him.  If Staal has the first pick I have to believe he will go for blood and choose his brother Marc Staal.

Will the Sedin twins be separated for the first time?

Absolutely!  As soon as one captain picks Henrik Sedin or Daniel Sedin the other captain will respond by picking the other.  It would be great to have them both on your team but you don’t want them playing together on the opposite team. 

Who will be picked last?

According to the rules of the draft we know that it won’t be a defenseman or goalie.  I also can’t believe that it will be a Swedish or Canadian player based on the captains’ nationality.  I am going to predict that it will be one of: Phil Kessel, David Backes, or Patrik Elias.  Backes probably provides the least amount of offensive flare as he is more of a power-forward and that is why my final prediction will be…Backes.

Who will the Captains pick to be their goalies?

Lidstrom will pick his fellow countryman Henrik Lundqvist as his first goalie.  Staal will use his second overall pick to pick his teammate Cam Ward.  I think Staal will also attempt to pick his Team Canada teammate Marc-Andre Fleury and his fellow Canadian Carey Price.  Lidstrom will pick Jonas Hiller as he is probably pretty familiar with his incredible skill as they’ve played lots in the Western Conference.  He will round things up with Tim Thomas as his other goalie.

Other Key Points:

Staal will pick rookie sensation Jeff Skinner.  As captain for the Hurricanes how could you not pick your own teams’ star rookie.  It would be devastating to a young player to know that your Captain didn’t want you on his All-Star team. 

Erik Karlsson has openly admitted that Nicklas Lidstrom is his hockey idol.  If Lidstrom has caught wind of this he is sure to pick Karlsson on his team. 

Watch it live tonight at 7:30 pm on TSN.

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